Company founded by Polaris Partners with latest funding led by Vida Ventures
Funding will support the advancement of new approaches to predict and target metastasis, one of the biggest unresolved challenges in cancer
Volastra Therapeutics, a biotechnology company developing new therapies for the prevention and treatment of metastatic cancer, today announced the extension of its initial funding round from $ 12 million to a total of $ 44 million. New investors Vida Ventures and Catalio Capital Management have joined a syndicate that includes Polaris Partners, Droia Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners and Quark Venture.
The funding supports the further development of Volastra’s technology platform, which harnesses unique information on chromosome instability (CIN) to rapidly identify and validate new targets to block metastasis. In the United States alone, more than 350,000 people a year are diagnosed with metastatic cancer. Less than a third respond to targeted therapies or immunotherapies, making metastasis one of cancer’s most pressing unresolved challenges.
“The support from our new and existing investors reflects the growing interest in CIN as a critical driver of cancer biology,” said Charles Hugh-Jones, MD, CEO of Volastra. “This latest funding places us in a strong position to advance our bold vision of changing the treatment paradigm for patients with metastatic cancer.”
“Our initial investment in Volastra reflects our enthusiasm for the potential of this new approach to address an unmet need in oncology,” said Amy Schulman, Director of Volastra and Managing Partner, Polaris. “With this startup extension, we are delighted to expand our union with Vida Ventures and Catalio Capital Management, who share our commitment to identify and fund innovation that has the potential to have a significant impact for patients.”
The scientific founders of Volastra were the first to identify CIN as a key factor in metastatic cancer. The company is developing proprietary computational and experimental approaches to understand the biology of CINs and foster drug discovery. Among Volastra’s tools is a proprietary technology suite to measure and exploit vulnerabilities in chromosomally unstable cancer cells.
“Volastra’s approach is focused on defining and treating the biology of metastases,” said Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., professor of cancer biology in medicine and Meyer director of the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center, Weill Cornell Medical College. “In just over a year, the Volastra team has taken this science to the next stage of development, creating technologies to identify CINs at scale and developing new compounds to block metastases. By leveraging this unique information about CINs, we are one step closer to unlocking new treatment options for some of the most difficult to treat solid tumors. “
Volastra recently announced partnership with Dewpoint Therapeutics to discover new molecules capable of blocking immunosuppressive signaling in high CIN tumors. In addition, Volastra announced a collaboration with Microsoft to develop proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms to detect and predict metastatic potential in human tissue samples.
About Volastra Therapeutics, Inc.
Volastra Therapeutics is pioneering new approaches to stop or prevent cancer metastasis, one of the main unresolved challenges in cancer treatment. Co-founders Lewis Cantley, Ph.D., Olivier Elemento, Ph.D. and Samuel Bakhoum, MD, Ph.D., made fundamental discoveries about the role of chromosomal instability in the spread of cancer. Volastra is built on these ideas. Based in West Harlem, NY, Volastra is committed to improving outcomes for people living with cancer.
For more information, please visit volastratx.com.
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